Why this album is more than just good


“Houses of the Holy” is Led Zeppelin’s fifth studio album. It was released on March 28, 1973.

Trey Boore, Reporter

As a lover of everything rock and roll, there is much more to it than just dad’s headbanging and loud sloppy guitar solos. With tons of subgenres within it and loads of talent, rock music has greatly impacted my lifestyle. 

Growing up playing the drums, music was already a huge part of childhood. Going to festivals and concerts with family was a common thing, which some will say is an easy excuse to like the genre. But it wasn’t just growing up with it which made me love it so much; It was the talent it takes to come together as one and produce a piece of art through instruments and vocals which made me love it. Anywhere from 60s – 90s classic, progressive, glam, punk, grunge and heavy blues rock is my style in terms of subgenres. Some of my favorite bands/artists are The Doors, Cheap Trick, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Motley Crue, Raspberries, Metallica, Peter Frampton, Green Day and ELO just to name a few. I know it’s a really random list but that’s the best way I can describe my taste. Even a newer band, Greta Van Fleet, are sitting up with my favorites, bringing back that classic progressive sound. 

“Do Ya”, by Electric Light Orchestra has been my number one favorite song for as long as I can remember. Not only does it give me some sort of nostalgia from listening to it in the car as a child, but all the elements in the song appeal to me more than any other song. The simple but catchy riff and guitar slide at the beginning of the song before the rest of the band kicks in will never fail to catch my attention. It’s a musical masterpiece to my ears and is also on my favorite ELO album called “A New World Record”. Though it is up there, it is not my favorite record of ‘all time’. 

This made me think for a bit, “What is my favorite album to ever be released as of yet?”. Of course it’s subject to possible change in the future, but this was a tough one for me to decide. I instantly thought of albums like “Frampton Comes Alive” by Peter Frampton, “Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd,”Self-Titled Rush”, “Kill ‘Em All“ Metallica, “Disraeli Gears” by Cream and so much more. I took into consideration the diversity of the songs on the album, if there was a song I’d skip or choose not to listen to. I even thought about the cover art for the album and I feel I came to a final decision.

My favorite album of all time (as of 2022) is “Houses of the Holy” by Led Zeppelin released in 1973. This LP features such a mix of style and emotion all while still sounding like the same band. That is the great thing about Zeppelin. It has the perfect amount of soft, funk, and heavy rock packed into 40 minutes which is everything I could ask for. The cover art is confusing at first. It’s hard to grasp exactly what is going on until doing some research on it, but that’s one of the first things I like about music and cover art. Not only can I listen to it or look at it, but it gives me something to think about and perceive however I want. 

The opening track is titled, “The Song Remains the Same”. In my opinion, this is the best song they could have chosen to start this beautiful LP. It has a very powerful beginning with quick cymbal crashes creating a really exciting mood. Around a minute 25 the speed of the song decreases down to a more mellow sound which is really unexpected.It soon picks back up into a non-stop fast paced chorus with the high pitch vocals of Robert Plant. It’s a great way to start off the album. 

The second song has a totally different vibe. “The Rain Song” is perfect for exactly what it says. I didn’t think it was possible to actually capture the feeling of a rainy day into music but Zeppelin did this perfectly. It has a very soft beginning that lasts quite some time which really puts me at an ease. Then out of nowhere, a blast of emotion hits the ears. To me, it goes from a song you’d put on while staying inside on a rainy day to a song you’d listen to while jumping in puddles and letting the rain hit your face. I truly think one reason I love this album so much is because it makes me feel and imagine something. 

This third track is not only my favorite song on the album but one of my favorites songs of all time. “Over the Hills and Far Away” is my example of a work of art in the rock and roll industry. I think one of the main reasons I love it so much is because of the use of acoustic and electric guitar mixing with each other throughout. It creates a very nice soft and heavy sound in one. Like the previous tracks, it starts off soft with a nice tune by guitarist Jimmy Page only for the entire room to change as the rest of the band kicks in with pounding drums and a heavy riff which will go down as one of my favorites. It’s hard for me to resist singing along with it. 

The next three songs on the album noticeably have a more funky groove to them. “The Crunge”, “Dancing Days” and “D’yer Mak’er”. Inspired by a James Brown riff, “The Crunge” is said to be a dance that you can’t really dance to. I would say this is one of the more unique songs on the album because of the keyboard that pops in and out of the tune. It’s one I kind of just have to listen and dance to in my head while enjoying it. Probably my favorite out of the three is “Dancing Days”. It’s a straightforward groove most of the way through and has a catchy riff along with a bit of guitar overtracking which blend together smoothly. Though, separating from the rest, “D’yer Mak’er” has a noticeable reggae approach to it. I’m not the biggest fan of reggae but this one hits different. The lyrics in all are very simple, which I think makes the song that much better. It makes me feel love and happiness which I think is something everyone needs. 

“No Quarter”, is something else. Pink Floyd fans might enjoy this song as it has a similar style. It’s instrumental for almost five minutes until the vocals start. This time, It doesn’t change the mood completely, and instead fuels the mysterious sound. I find to appreciate this one so much just because of the musicianship throughout the band, especially John Paul Jones, the bass player, who showcases his skills on keys. 

Finally, the perfect song to end with, “The Ocean”. Led Zeppelin fan or not, this riff is anything but unheard of. From John Bonham’s predominant chant to start followed by pounding drums, it’s that Zeppelin sound everyone knows and loves and really completes the album. Out of nowhere the tune changes completely with a slick transioitn into this exciting “doo wop” sound which makes you wanna get up and dance. 

Everytime I listen to the album, I pick out something else I hadn’t noticed or heard before. The amount of work and creativity put into this LP will never make me not appreciate it and that is why Houses of the Holy by Led Zeppelin, is my favorite album of all time.